ORLANDO, Fla. -- Inside the Second Food Harvest of Central Florida, a familiar face walks back into the kitchen: Soline Dulcio is visiting the place that taught her to chop, roast, and tenderize.
- Second Food Harvest gives culinary training
- Soline Dulcio says it got her out of unemployment
She is now a prep cook at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin, but she admits without the program that trained her, she is not sure how her life would be now.
“Without this program, I don’t know,” Dulcio said.
Before culinary training program, she was unemployed and extremely depressed.
“… I said I have to do something for myself,” Dulcio said.
The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program gives people who are “economically disadvantaged” the training to make it into the food industry.
Her mentor Israel Santiago remembers seeing the shy woman transform as she learned more about cooking.
“It was a huge change. The smile got wider, (and) the way she was behaving in the kitchen got more assertive,” Chef Santiago said. “And that was amazing to see her transformation -- it was really nice.”
Her success is nice, but her graciousness has proved to be so much more.
“That was a little on the touching side for me,” Santiago said. “Because you see the students calling back and saying ‘thank you,’ and all those moments. But to do what she did, it was totally unexpected.”
Dulcio donated her first income tax return, giving back to the place that gave her a start.
“If I have something in my pocket, I always give,” Dulcio said.
The culinary training program has a 100 percent placement into the workforce.